All posts by Jitesh Anand

Jitesh Anand is a second year student at NALSAR, Hyderabad. His diverse interests subsist on the opposite ends of the spectrum: from being an avid sportsperson to an ardent tech buff. His persistent interest in technology and his new-found fascination for law have amalgamated in his keen desire to study tech-law. In pursuance of this, he has interned at SFLC (Software Freedom Law Center) and has written a research paper on ‘Privacy on Facebook’.

Editors’ Picks (05/05/2015)

1) Facebook’s Internet.Org is a privacy nightmare, Nikhil Pahwa,  Medianama.

2) How ICANN pressures net engineers to give it behind-the-scenes control of the web, Kieren McCarthy, The Register.

3) Appearing happy on Facebook may be used against you in a court of law, Amanda Hess, Slate.

4) Online fact checking tool gets a big test with Nepal earthquake, Mike Orcutt, Technology Review.

5) IP in a world without scarcity, Mark A. Lemley, SSRN.

6) Despite a startup boom in India, regulatory challenges are spooking entrepreneurs, Madhura Karnik, Quartz.

7) Can the government license OTT?, Rahul Matthan, Medium.

Editor’s Picks (08/03/2015)

1) Anatomy of a Hack, Russell Brandom, The Verge.

2) Documentary on 2012 Delhi gang rape banned in India, Nikita Doval, Live Mint.

3) Opinion: The FCC’s Net Neutrality victory is anything but, Geoffrey A. Manne, Wired.

4) Facebook post written in Florida lands US man in United Arab Emirates jail, David Kravets, Ars Technica.

5) Facebook reaching out to users who might be suicidal, Rex Santus, Mashable.

Editors’ Picks (02/03/15)

1) Defining Offensive: SC reserves verdict on pleas against 66A of IT Act, First Post.

2) Net Neutrality activists score landmark victory in fight to govern the Internet, Dominic Rushe, The Guardian.

3) Snapdeal has just been taken to court for selling vibrators, Manu Balachandran, Quartz India.

4) How the Military will fight ISIS on the dark web, Patrick Tucker, Defense One.

5) The Dark Web, anarchy, law, freedom and anonymity, Mark Stockley, Naked Security.

6) Online Intermediaries in India, Chinmayi Arun & Sarvjeet Singh, Social Science Research Network.

7) How cards are quietly transforming the web, Robert Fan, Tech Crunch.

8) I spent 2 hours in a virtual world – and I didn’t want to leave, Taylor Hatmaker,  Daily Dot.

Editor’s Note: We would like to announce with great pleasure that one of our TLF’s own posts – “Intermediary Liability – An Explanation” by Kartik Chawla,  has found mention in the 2014 Web Index, published by the World Wide Web Foundation (the world’s first measure of the World Wide Web’s contribution to social, economic and political progress in countries across the world). The citation is in the ‘Copyright and Intermediate Liability’ head.

Editors’ Picks (17/02/15)

1) The great Internet swindle: ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Jon Henley, The Guardian.

2) Google boss warns of ‘forgotten century’ with e-mails and photos at risk, Ian Sample, The Guardian.

3) Can Twitter fix its harassment problems without losing its soul? Rachel Metz, MIT Technology Review.

4) Millions of Facebook users have no idea they are using the Internet, Leo Mirani, Quartz.

5) Digital India Programme: Government rolls out beta version of ‘digital locker’, Neha Alawadhi, The Economic Times.

6) Aaron Swartz stood up for freedom and fairness – and was hounded to his death, John Naughton, The Guardian.

7) Twitter reveals all it can tell you about government surveillance of users, Jenna Mclaughlin, Mother Jones.

Uber – Into the New Tomorrow

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The rapid influx of technology has in recent times forced various firms to revamp their respective business models. The taxi industry is no exception. In this blog post, I will discuss the Delhi government’s ban on Uber cabs and the issue of its compliance with the IT Act, 2000 or the Radio Taxi Scheme, 2006. I will analyze the ban on the lines of the economic concept of ‘entry costs’. I will also deliberate on the need for leveling the play field between both, the radio cab operators and the taxi ‘app’ companies.

Continue reading Uber – Into the New Tomorrow

The Curious Case of Academic Journals

One of the prominent ways of ‘decorating’ our Curriculum Vitae (CV) is lacing it up with published research papers or articles in renowned academic journals. Not just students, but also teachers, scientists and academicians prefer submitting their works to noteworthy journals of their respective academic disciplines. In cases of public-funded research, the journals get the research almost free of cost, but they charge exorbitant amounts in giving access to these academic articles. Elsevier, the biggest academic journal publisher, made a profit of $1.2 billion on revenues of £2.1 billion in 2011. Yes, it does make Murdoch look like a socialist! In this blog post, I will discuss two possible solutions to this significant problem, first, getting rid of the system of journals altogether and secondly, open access journals along with their pros and cons.

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Facebook’s Acquisitions: A Before and After Comparison of Privacy

For Facebook, it has never been about the profit, but the users. The social network has spent more than $22 billion on acquisitions, which includes $19 billion on WhatsApp exclusively! That is 2000 times the annual revenue of WhatsApp! Other popular acquisitions include Instagram ($1 billion), Oculus ($ 2 billion) and Atlas ($100 million). With recent psychological experiments conducted by Facebook on its unsuspecting users coming to surface, it becomes imperative to understand how our information is being collected, stored or used. In this blog post, I have tried to analyze the privacy policies (before and after) of three of Facebook’s major acquisitions – Instagram, Moves and WhatsApp.

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Privacy on Facebook: An Absolute Prerequisite

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Social networking websites have taken the Internet by storm in today’s organic society. One such website, Facebook, with over a billion users has often been referred to as the ‘third largest country’ of the world. The rise of Facebook to soaring heights can be credited to first, the intensive monitoring of its users which enables the company to provide them tailor made services, targeted advertising and second, of course to Metcalfe’s Law, which in common parlance means that the more users there are on a social networking site, the more attractive it will be to people who are contemplating joining. In this blog post, I have tried to analyze Facebook’s privacy policies along the lines of the National Privacy Principles. These principles have been comprehensively dealt with by Justice A.P. Shah in his ‘Report on Privacy’, published by the Planning Commission of India. They also closely tie to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Privacy Principles and European Union’s Data Protection Directives.

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A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The Trans-Pacific Partnership

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After the scrapping of the ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ (SOPA) and the ‘Protect IP Act’ (PIPA) in the U.S., one could have been under the impression that the Internet would be free from unadulterated interference by the government. SOPA and PIPA basically gave the government unprecedented powers to shut down any website/blog at will. Be that as it may, few know about the presence of an equally perilous agreement called the ‘Trans-Pacific Partnership’. U.S. is a key member of this partnership bolstered by corporate lobbyists and this will ultimately be pushed down on all countries around the world by means of trade deals. WikiLeaks in recent times has released some draft chapters of the TPP. In this blog post, I will try to analyze some contentious provisions of the TPP from the viewpoint of an Indian internet user.

Continue reading A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The Trans-Pacific Partnership

Digital Piracy: Adapt or Deter?

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(The author would like to thank Swaraj Paul Barooah for his valuable insights.)

Let me begin by putting forward a basic question – when was the last time you actually paid to download a song? And trust me, you deserve a pat if your answer is anywhere within the last two years. In this blog post, I have looked into the contentious issue of digital piracy and the implications it holds today. My major theme is an analysis of whether this online piracy can be curbed effectively and if yes, then how. The post is divided into six sections – (i) The basics, (ii) Deterrence as a solution (iii) Curbing piracy around the world, (iv) Digital piracy in India, (v) The creative industry’s viewpoint and (vi) Conclusion.

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